Addiction and Society

Module code: AE2040

Module co-ordinator: Dr Tony Priest

This module will introduce you to the Brief Interventions employed in work with drug and alcohol users within the Criminal Justice System. We will study the Criminal Justice process from arrest to dispersal and consider the major links between crime and substance use (along with other relevant social factors).

We will look at how coercion can effect the relationship with a client, at the laws which relate to counselling practice, and at the effect on substance misusing clients of discrimination, homelessness, domestic violence and sex working. We will considerthe hidden harm caused by substance misusers to those other than themselves, especially to children, and discuss diversity issues and their implications for the delivery of treatment.

Topics covered

  • Legal aspects of confidentiality: defensible and obligatory breaches
  • Fraser competence (formerly Gillick competence) and confidentiality with minors
  • Mental Capacity Act, Protection of Vulnerable Adults Act (PoVA)
  • Disability Discrimination Act
  • Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: arrest referral, court referral, Drug Testing and Treatment Requirements (DTTRs), probation and CARAT work
  • Resettlement and inter-agency care plans
  • Discrimination
  • Domestic violence, hidden harm and family system
  • Sex working
  • Diversity Assessment and under-served groups (e.g. NTAS Diversity Assessment package) 


This module is studied by distance learning.


  • Reflective essay, 2,000 words (50%)
  • Case studies, 2,000 words (50%)
  • 80% attendance at intensive workshop, assessed as pass or fail